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Miami Criminal Defense Blog

Women: The new face of inmates

In large part due to changes in marijuana laws, there's been a slight dip in the number of prisoners serving time or awaiting trial in American jails. But this country still incarcerates more of its citizens than any other nation -- and many of them are female.

Advocates for prison reform say that the "for-profit" prison industry essentially created a market for inmates -- which has encouraged more incarcerations than ever before, especially among women. While the odds have lessened that women of color will receive harsher treatment than white women, the reality is that more women of all races are being imprisoned.

Clean Slate Act could change the lives of millions

There are approximately 7.1 million unfilled jobs in the United States today -- but some people still can't find work because they have a criminal record for a marijuana-related crime.

The Clean Slate Act, if it is successful, could change the lives of literally millions. As a whole, American attitudes toward marijuana usage have shifted dramatically in the last few decades. While marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, many people are calling for that to change. In addition, numerous state laws now permit the use of medical marijuana for people with specific conditions. Recreational marijuana has even been legalized in several states, including California, Oregon, Alaska and Michigan -- and there's been no mass upheaval in society as a result.

Don't try to outrun a conviction

If you're facing extensive criminal charges for a white collar crime like embezzlement, securities violations, fraud or something similar, it's only natural to feel a host of strong emotions. You may be depressed at the potential penalties and the turn your life has taken. You may be angry at whatever situation started the whole mess. You may be frustrated at the way you are being perceived in the press.

You're probably also scared -- because whether you're guilty or innocent, there's a lot at stake. However, don't let the fear of the consequences of your upcoming trial prompt you into becoming a fugitive.

Former drug company executive charged with opioid crimes

A 75-year-old former chief executive officer of a major drug manufacturer, the Rochester Drug Cooperative (RDC), has been charged with conspiracy to traffic narcotics -- along with a host of other charges related to his actions while opioids were flooding the market from 2012 onward.

Many people see this move by federal prosecutors as a warning shot that signals a change in how the government plans to tackle the ongoing drug crisis that has plagued the nation ever since opioid painkillers were mass-marketed to doctors and consumers alike as "safe" for use.

How federal sentencing guidelines are forcing guilty pleas

If you've paid any attention to the university admission scandal that's been rocking academia and the entertainment industry lately, you've probably heard people ask why Lori Loughlin didn't accept a plea bargain.

The reason that everyone is asking this question is that most people are aware that taking a case to trial -- especially one it looks like the defendant might lose -- means risking a much longer, tougher sentence. That's largely why many of the other parents and coaches involved in the scandal, including actress Felicity Huffman, already entered guilty pleas.

Dozens charged in elaborate multi-state Medicare fraud scheme

Medicare fraud is a serious crime. According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Fraud, such fraudulent activity often involves the intentional submission of false claims to obtain payment and knowingly bribing others to refer or prescribe items qualified for reimbursement.

In early April, federal prosecutors revealed they had unearthed and exposed an elaborate health care fraud scheme. The FBI charged 24 individuals after obtaining 80 search warrants across the United States for various medical supply companies. At the core of the massive scheme was the intent to defraud the Medicare program by prescribing and distributing unnecessary orthopedic braces to elderly and disabled patients.

Criminal reform bill could mean big changes for Florida

Florida's criminal justice system has been struggling under the weight of mandatory minimum sentencing and the collateral damage of the "War on Drug" for decades. Now, a set of reforms that are working their way through the state's legislature may help change things for the better.

The bill, which was sponsored by Senator Jeff Brandes, aims to change a number of things about the way that criminal cases are handled. Part of the senator's focus is on changing the way the state's prisons operate, focusing more on rehabilitation than punishment in order to keep inmates from cycling in and out of the system.

When academic cheating is a crime: The college admissions scandal

When the college admissions scandal recently broke, involving some of the most prominent figures in entertainment and business in the country today, people experienced a range of emotions: shock, dismay, disgust and surprise. Many people didn't realize that paying someone to take your child's college entrance exams or bribing your way onto a college sports team to gain admission was a federal crime.

A total of 33 parents and a number of college and university coaches were charged with engaging in a well-established scheme to game the admission process in favor of students whose parents could afford to pay the right price.

America's failed drug war (and successful property grab)

Not only has America's "war on drugs" been a monumental failure (given that the current epidemic of opioid addiction is a near-constant subject in the news these days) -- it's been an international failure as well.

According to the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC), the United Nation's anti-drug efforts have had tremendously negative results when it comes to broken families, ruined lives, damaged health, human rights violations, security problems and wasted money. It's also done nothing to stem the tide of the global drug supply -- or the resulting addictions and deaths.

What makes someone likely to commit white collar crime?

Do you ever wonder why only a few people end up committing white collar crimes like embezzlement or money laundering?

After all, there are plenty of people out there who have the opportunity. They're in positions of trust, they have access to money and they probably know exactly where the gaps in oversight are in order to get away with it (at least, for a while). Why do some people fall into temptation and not others?

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